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Sniper Suspect Caught With a 'Killing Machine'

October 27, 2002

If the suspect apprehended in Maryland (Oct. 25) is indeed the sniper that killed so many in the Washington area, we are looking at two domestic terrorists who served in the 1991 Gulf War -- including Timothy McVeigh. If one were to add up the number of persons killed in the Oklahoma City bombing and this latest sniper rampage, it is not too much of a leap to see that the death toll to U.S. citizens as a result of the Gulf War rises dramatically. Do we really want to go into another war, one that raises the threat of foreign and domestic terrorism to such an extreme level?

Katy Quigley

Los Angeles

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In his Oct. 19 letter, Andrew Peart asserts that blaming the National Rifle Assn. for making guns available to the Washington-area sniper is ridiculous. I beg to differ. The gun used by the killer is a high-powered military-style rifle using .223-caliber cop-killer, armor-piercing bullets with a high-powered scope that enables a killer or a not-so-sporting "sports person" to kill from an obscenely great distance. The NRA has successfully fought against the banning of this hardware. There is no room for such efficient killing machines in a supposedly civilized society.

Bob Lentz

Sylmar

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California Puts Chill on Business Climate

I am taking very strong exception to your Oct. 19 editorial, "Blackouts Leave Black Eye," on the change in California's business climate. You imply that the major reason for the rating and ranking reduction in attractiveness issued by a third party is the electric/energy crisis of 2001. There are other reasons for the change. Allow me to provide some perspective, having had the opportunity to consult to many small and mid-size businesses in Southern California since 1995.

The first is continued high business taxes, particularly in the nation's second-largest city, Los Angeles. The second is out-of-control workers' compensation rates. The third is the enactment of SB 1661, the paid Family Leave Act, which will kill job creation in the years ahead, leaving this state with a permanently high unemployment rate. The fourth is the continuing dismal performance of the public education system, the primary source of the state's workforce.

Kenneth W. Keller

Valencia

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Trashing the Law

The recent arrests of 14 suspects for defrauding the state's recycling redemption system illustrates the absurdity of a program that is a de facto beverage tax (Oct. 23). How many of us actually redeem the 2.5 to 5 cents for our bottles and cans? We don't object to this insidious little number because it's so small, and we don't redeem it because it's not worth our effort. This, presumably, is by design. Is it doing what it purports; i.e., to encourage recycling? Not for the vast majority of Californians. The fraud simply illustrates what a joke the California redemption value is.

Jonathan Stewart

Newbury Park

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Animal Sadism

Whoa! Talk about bad choices! Your gruesome photo of a hanged monkey ("Frustrated S.F. Goes Ape Over Rally Monkey," Oct. 24) sends a frightening message to the impressionable young fans. Toy or no toy, it looks like a tortured, murdered animal and should not be glorified. Now, I'm not bashing the column; what happened happened, and the tale (tail?) was well told, complete with SPCA comments. But as we therapists have seen all too often, animal sadism is often a precursor to later horrific antisocial acts.

Any publicity may imply sanction. A little social responsibility, please, and PDQ.

LeeLeonor Lawson

Beverly Hills

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